Jackson County Unemployment Up; Harrison, Hancock Both Fall

Jackson County's unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent in July, up from 4.2 percent in June, while Harrison and Hancock counties both saw unemployment fall.

Hancock county's unemployment rate was the lowest on the coast at 2.9 percent.  Harrison county posted a 3.0 percent unemployment rate.

All three coast counties had unemployment rates below the state average of 4.7 percent.

The state's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in June, down from 5.2 percent in May, according to figures released Wednesday by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission. The nation's jobless rate in July also stood at 4.7 percent.

"Overall the employment numbers are very positive,'' said Curt Thompson, the MESC's executive director. "Most counties saw their unemployment rates decrease and the statewide rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than last July.''

Thompson said agriculture gained 5,600 jobs during July. He said increased jobs also were reported in the construction, food, financial and amusement trades. Overall employment rose by 7,500 to 1.25 million jobs in July.

Thompson said manufacturing jobs fell by 2,100 in July. He said most of the jobs were in industrial machinery category.

Lamar County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.1 percent, followed by Rankin and DeSoto counties tied at 2.2 percent and Lafayette County at 2.5 percent.

Seven counties had double-digit jobless rates, led by Holmes County at 16.8 percent, followed by Jefferson County at 16.1 percent, Chickasaw County at 16.4 percent, Issaquena at 11.9 percent, Quitman at 10.8 percent, Monroe at 10.8 percent and Sunflower at 10 percent.